A lawsuit brought against L.A. Live on behalf of a gay couple alleges they were wrongfully ejected from a New Edition concert at the Microsoft Theater because of their sexual orientation, and that one of the women was thrown through a glass door by a security guards and police officers.
Jasmine Corello and Shawnee Centeno filed the lawsuit Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Their allegations include assault, battery, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and false arrest.
An L.A. Live representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The suit states that the two women attended the downtown concert last July 31 as invited guests of New Edition member Johnny Gill, who also left them VIP passes. About 20 minutes into the performance, a fan sitting behind them complained to ushers that the plaintiffs were standing and blocking their view of the group, according to their court papers.
An usher asked to view the couple’s tickets and left. But about five minutes later, another usher approached and took one of the couple’s tickets, the suit states.
After 15 minutes passed, six male security guards walked up to the plaintiffs and began yelling at them, claiming they were in the wrong row, according to the lawsuit.
The security guards escorted the women to the lobby, where they were approached by two Los Angeles police officers as well as additional security guards, the suit alleges.
The guards made citizen’s arrests of the plaintiffs, who believe the security staff called the police, the suit states.
“We don’t want you here,” the guards told the women, according to their court papers.
One of the guards laughed when Corello asked him if they were being treated differently because they are gay, the suit says.
The police then told the plaintiffs that they were trespassing on private property and that they had to leave, according to the complaint.
While Centeno and Corello discussed the reasons given them for their ejection, the head security guard grabbed Centeno by the neck and threw her against a glass door, the suit alleges.
When Corello ran to Centeno’s aid, six security guards and two police officers “proceeded to throw (Corello) head-first through a glass door onto the concrete outside,” leaving her unconscious, the suit alleges.
When she woke, she and Centeno were handcuffed and held for about an hour, according to their complaint, who alleges they were both injured in the confrontation and were not offered any medical attention by the security staff.
— City News Service